Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Canon A580, A590 IS, A470 and SD 1100 IS join the club

Canon beefs up its entry-level line-up with a new entry-level Elph and a new trio of A-series affordables. Of course in typical Canon fashion, the older models will stick around for a few months, and they will become the best bang for the buck, in parallel with the newer models.

The new announcements are mirroring their replacements: The A590-IS shadows the Canon A570 IS, the A580 shadows the Canon A560, the A470 shadows the Canon A460, and the SD-1100-IS shadows the Canon SD1000, but also adds IS.

Canon is not usually the first to jump on new trends or fads, which is perhaps why their profit margins and balance sheets had been more impressive than most of the other digital camera manufacturers. However, they eventually give in to the temptation, and that's why we see IS in their entry-level Elph, but also a Canon first, the SD1100 is available in five deliciously trendy colors! Oh my!

As expected, it features an 8mp 1/1.25" sensor, a pedestrian 3x optical zoom lens (38-114mm eq), but adds image stabilization to its lens. From there on, it has the features one would expect from a camera in this segment, such as face detection, 2.5" LCD, etc, etc, etc, but has a surprise too: You can use an optional underwater case with it if you want to take pictures underwater.

The SD1100IS is available for pre-ordering at Amazon for $250, about $80 above the current price of the Canon SD1000. More on this camera at CNet's Crave blog, dpreview, IR, dcresource and many other places.

And now to the trio of new A-series models we touched upon above. The press release for these can be found at the Imaging Insider.

Calling the A470 an ugly camera would be doing a disservice to ugliness! We recommend that people buy one of the A5xx-series models instead, unless there is a very specific budget. Not because the A470 is ugly, but because you get so much more with the A5xx and higher models.

The A470 has a 7mp sensor, 3x pedestrian zoom (starts at 38mm), uses 2 AA, low-res 2.5" LCD, and that's about it. The price is $150 and it is available for pre-ordering at Amazon and other places.

The A580 comes in with an 8mp sensor, a 4x optical zoom lens (35-140mm eq), 2.5" LCD (but low-res), face detection, DIGIC III, very good power utilization with two AA batteries, etc, etc. In what appears to be a mild surprise, Canon does not include PSAM on this model, which is perhaps their way of funneling buyers towards the more advanced A590-IS, which includes image stabilization and PSAM, and has a more "mid-range" look thanks to its black body color, yet only costs $20 more. Not sure what they were thinking here! Despite their low price, they are capable of using optional add-on converter lenses (tele, wide, close-up).

Needless to say that we strongly recommend that of these three, you get the A590-IS, unless you are working on a very restricted budget.

The A580 is available for pre-ordering at Amazon for $180, while the A590-IS is offered at $200. We don't have a pre-order link for that one yet. Yet this is the one we recommend!

More coverage of these A-series models at dpreview, dc resource, Grunch Gears, DC Views and many other sites and blogs.


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to decide between the A580 and a few other similar models, but couldn't figure out the differences, other than price. Thanks for your review and comparison, this has helped me decide. My wife is gonna love her anniversary gift this year!

1001 noisy cameras said...

Thanks! I'm glad you found our new camera announcement discussion helpful! And happy anniversary!